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Man Awarded $1 Million After Spending 31 Years In Prison For A Crime He Didn't Commit

“I’ve been a criminal defense attorney for 40 years, this is probably one of the most moving events I’ve ever experienced."

In 1978, Lawrence McKinney was found guilty of rape and burglary in Tennesse. Despite continuously maintaining his innocence, McKinney remained in prison for 32 years. It wasn't until 2009, at the age of 52 that McKinney got the chance to breathe fresh air as a free man.

McKinney was granted his freedom after DNA evidence cleared him of the crimes he'd been accused of. Nashville Attorney David Raybin who has represented McKinney for the last six years says the $1 million compensation and his freedom has been a long fought battle.

“I’ve been a criminal defense attorney for 40 years, this is probably one of the most moving events I’ve ever experienced,” he told HuffPost. “To have someone in prison that long and to fight for years, for six years to get him some justice, it has just been an enormous undertaking.”

McKinney received $353,000 upfront, which went to cover lawyer fees and other legal costs. He then will receive $3,500 each month for the next 10 years. Should McKinney die within the decade, his wife or his estate will be able to collect the checks.

While the $1 million is noted, by no means is it being called satisfactory compared to the amount of time McKinney spent behind bars. "The board of claims at the hearing said that they thought it was an inadequate award,” Raybin said.

The $1 million compensation is the maximum amount to be awarded by Tennesse, but Raybin notes the law was put in place nearly 10 years ago and doesn't account for inflation.

McKinney however is thankful to be a free man after trying for years to receive monetary compensation and his rightful exoneration. Twice the parole board refused to formally clear McKinney's name. Former Gov. Phil Bredesen (D) declined to clear his name as well. McKinney only received his just due in December 2017 when Republican Gov. Bill Haslam signed off.

“In the eyes of the judicial system, Mr. McKinney is innocent,” Haslam said in a statement at the time. “While I appreciate the hard work and recommendations of the Board of Parole, in this case, I defer to the finding of the court charged with determining Mr. McKinney’s guilt or innocence.”

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Florida Teacher Arrested For Carrying Knives And Loaded Guns In Classrooms

A fourth-grade teacher at Starkey Elementary School was arrested Monday (May 20) after authorities found knives, a 9mn Glock with seven rounds of ammunition and other weapons.

According to reports, the 49-year-old had the weapons, including a six-inch fighting knife and a two-inch finger knife, in classrooms with students.

Reportedly, Starkey Elementary School principal saw Betty Soto behaving suspiciously as she carried the backpack with her wherever she went.

Law enforcement arrived on campus after being notified by the principal. They interviewed Soto and found the weapons. The teacher reportedly was let out on bond at 9 PM Monday night and when asked by reporters why she brought the weapons to school she attributed it to Gov. Ron DeSantis.

"Ask Desantis," she answered. "Ask your governor."

In early May, the Republican governor signed a bill that will allow teachers to carry guns inside a classroom. The measure was a reported response to the Parkland High School shooting.

Soto's Facebook page will be investigated as part of the overall investigation due to a post that was shared. "Are you surprised I'm a revolutionary? You should have seen it coming. Hate that I was on my way to the plantation, but I had to free some minds."

Erica Kennedy, a mother of two at Starkey Elementary, described Soto's behavior as "militant" and "suspicious."

"She seemed very abrupt, the way she was speaking. I almost felt like she was talking to these kids like she was their parent, you know, just really, a little overboard. So, it made me kind of, something kind of went up in the back of my hair like, hmmm," Kennedy explained.

Soto reportedly will not be returning to Starkey Elementary School.

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Tom Lynn

Milwaukee County Declares Racism A Public Health Crisis

Milwaukee County Executive Chris Abele signed a resolution Monday (May 20) stating how racism is a public health crisis and that the county plans to take action.

"Everybody has been reading and hearing about the same set of statistics in Milwaukee for decades," Abele said. "We lead in an unfortunate way the racial disparities in employment, in education, incarceration, income and even things like ... access to capital."

The resolution hopes to take actionable steps to level the playing field in Milwaukee, a playing field that finds minorities disproportionately affected.

Nicole Brookshire, the Milwaukee County Office on African American Affairs Director, was with Abele at the signing and spoke on the potential power of the resolution.

"We need to address racism as a public health crisis but on a large scale to make sure that we transform our culture, transform how we serve our residents and we drive solutions that are equitable," she said.

The resolution hopes to assess internal policies and procedures to make sure racial equity is a core element of the county, work to create an inclusive organization and identify specific activities to increase diversity and encourage other local, state and national entities to recognize racism as a public health crisis.

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Cop Fired For Hiring Hitman To Kill Her Husband And Boyfriend's Kid

A New York police officer has been suspended without pay and charged with use of interstate commerce for murder for hire.

The cop in question, Valerie Cincinelli, reportedly asked her boyfriend to hire a hitman to kill her estranged husband and his own daughter. Instead, the boyfriend told the FBI about her plans.

The New York Times reports, Cincinelli was a cop for 12 years and worked in the domestic violence unit of the 106th precinct. She and her soon-to-be ex, Isaiah Carvalho Jr., were married for four years. However, in January, Carvalho filed for divorce which led to a custody battle, that seemingly came to halt months prior to their case going to court.

What 32-year-old Carvalho didn't know was by February, his estranged wife had been plotting to kill him and her boyfriend's school-age daughter.

The botched murder-for-hire plot was supposed to look like Carvalho's death was caused by a robbery gone awry, and the girl's death look like an accident after suggesting the killer run over her with a car near her school.

On Feb, 18, Cincinelli withdrew $7,000. That same day, her boyfriend withdrew $6,935 in gold coins. The two discussed the plot extensively and according to reports Cincinelli used social media to track the child. On May 13, Cincinelli met with her boyfriend to discuss the two potential murders unaware that he was wearing a wire.

“It’s your worst nightmare scenario,” said Matthew Weiss, Mr. Carvalho’s lawyer.

Local cops reportedly went to great lengths to convince Cincinelli the murders took place and appeared at her home to inform her they were investing it. Immediately afterward, she texted her boyfriend to ensure their alibis were aligned and instructed him to delete the thread.

Later that day she was taken into police custody and charged.

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